How do I get to Nepal?
Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu is the only international airport in Nepal for those who come to Nepal by air. The national flag carrier, Nepal Airlines, and other international airlines directly connect Kathmandu with major cities around the world. Those visitors coming to Nepal by land can enter through different entry points on the India-Nepal border which are Kakarbhitta, Birgunj, Sunauli, Nepalgunj, Dhangadi, and Mahendranagar. Land crossings at the Tibet/China-Nepal border are Khasa, Liping/Tatopani, respectively.
Overland tourists entering the country with their own vehicles must possess an international carnet or complete customs formalities.
Do I need a visa to enter Nepal?
All foreign nationals, except Indians, need a visa to enter Nepal. Visa can be obtained from any Nepalese embassy or consulate of the related country from which you’re travelling from. Most of the nationals can also get a visa on arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu or at the Immigration Office at the entry points to Nepal. However, nationals of the following countries will not get visa on arrival at the immigration entry points of Nepal:
Hence, they need to obtain visas from Nepalese embassies or diplomatic missions in their respective countries prior to their arrival in Nepal.
Tourist multiple entry visa fees based on duration of visit:
Gratis (Free) Visa for 30 days is available only for nationals of South Asian countries like Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka for the first visit in one visa year (January to December). However, a visa fee is required for its extension beyond the 30 days.
Tourist visas can be extended for a period of 120 days at the Immigration Department in Kathmandu or Pokhara.
(For more information, please, contact Department of Immigration, Kalikasthan, Kathmandu,
Tel: 00977-1-4433934 / 4429660 / 4438862 / 4438868,
What items do I need to get a visa?
You need to provide a valid passport and one passport sized photograph (size-not specified) with a light background. Cash in any of the following are acceptable forms of payment for the visa: Euro, Swiss Franc, Pound Sterling, US dollar, Australian dollar, Canadian dollar, Hong Kong dollar, Singapore dollar, and Japanese Yen. Credit Card, Indian currency or Nepalese currency are not accepted as payment of Visa fee.
What documents must Indian nationals submit at the entry point for visa?
As per the Nepalese Immigration, Indian Nationals traveling to Nepal must possess any one of the following documents:
2. Driving License with photo
3. Photo Identity card issued by a Government Agency
4. Ration Card with Photo
5. Election Commission Card with Photo
6. Identity Card issued by Embassy of India in Kathmandu
7. Identity Card with Photo issued by Sub- Divisional Magistrate or any other officials above his rank
However, you’re suggested to check with your nearest travel agents for documents required by the Indian Immigration for Indians traveling to Nepal.
When is the best time to travel in Nepal?
In general there are two preferred times of year to visit Nepal. Peak season, particularly for trekking in Nepal, is from late August to early December when the air is fresh clear sky giving the best views of the mountains.
From the end of February to mid-April it is warm and dry, the rhododendrons are in flower and the Terai’s long grass has been cut, improving wildlife sightings in Chitwan and Bardia national parks. This season brings a second wave of visitors, though a haze gradually obscures the mountains from lower elevations towards the end of this period.
It is possible to visit Nepal in January and February, but you should be prepared for very cold nights and a lack of heating except in Kathmandu’s luxury hotels. It’s a good time to trek around the rim of the Kathmandu valley. We can advise you on the best time to visit Nepal based on the things you want to see and do.
We organize tailor made trips to Nepal and would be happy to talk through when and where to go – just get in touch to plan and book your trip.
How safe is Nepal?
It is safe for the visitors in Nepal unless they’re careless. It is safe to take a walk around the city from morning to late evening until the shops are closed. But you are advised not to walk alone. Trekking with a guide through a registered agency is secured. You are advised not display your cash or expensive items and always lock your room and baggage.
Should you have any security or travel-related problems, please contact to The Tourist Police (Tel. +977-014247041 and email – firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com ) at Bhrikuti Mandap. In addition, if you lost any valuable items, you can contact the Tourist Police to prepare documents for theft to claim insurance.
Is travel insurance necessary while in Nepal? Can I get it there?
It’s the most important document while traveling through our organization which you need to leave a copy of it before leaving for any activities. Make sure that your travel insurance covers helicopter evacuation, medical expenses, repatriation expenses, loss of luggage and any other services that may occur while in Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan and India. In any time of your emergency, we , Himalayan Namobuddha Travel & Treks, will arrange the Helicopter for rescue. Regarding the trekking crews including trekking guide, mountaineering/climbing guide/trekking cook and trekking porters/sherpa, our company is fully responsible for their insurance annually. All of our staffs are fully insuranced by trusted insurance company in Nepal.
As Nepal based travel insurance companies have less coverage of the services in an emergency such as helicopter rescue/evacuation, medical treatment etc, we suggest you to issue your personal travel insurance before your travel to Nepal.
What is Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) and how do you prevent it?
Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is caused by thin air at high altitudes starting from 3000 meters upwards and may even lead to death. The main precaution that needs to be taken while trekking is not to go up too high too fast. So the body should be given enough time to acclimatize.
If you suffer from initial symptoms like headaches, shortness of breath, fatigue, nausea, inability to sleep, swelling of the face, hands and feet and loss of appetite, descend to a lower elevation immediately, and seek medical help. In this condition, please inform the guide or other crew members in the group for the first aid treatment.
What inoculations are recommended before visiting Nepal?
Although specific immunization is not required to enter Nepal, it is however, best to protect yourself against diseases such hepatitis, meningitis and Japanese encephalitis. Malaria has been reported in the Terai plains of Nepal, so take precautions against being bitten by mosquitoes. Please notify the authorities or the hotel of any symptoms of bird or swine flu or any endemic.
Where can I exchange my money? Are there ATMS in Nepal?
It is illegal to exchange foreign currency with persons and organizations other than those authorized such as banks, hotels and licensed money changers. Nepalese banks do not accept Indian currency of denomination of Rs. 500 and 1000. You will find the exchange rates for different currencies in the Nepalese papers. In order to exchange surplus rupees at the time of your departure, please retain your encashment receipts.
There are many ATM centers in Kathmandu, Pokhara and other big cities in Nepal that accept AMERICAN EXPRESS, VISA and MASTER CARD. Still we advice you to always carry some cash with you .
Are Credit cards accepted in Nepal?
Major hotels, restaurants and curio shops in the cities accept AMERICAN EXPRESS, VISA and MASTERCARD. You can contact the banks for credit card services. But you’re advised to take cash (NPR) while you are in the mountains.
What is Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS)? Where and how to obtain TIMS Card?
Tourists of all nationalities including Indians, who are interested to visit general trekking areas of Nepal, are required to receive TIMS Card through one of the following offices:
• Kathmandu (NTB office, TAAN office and Government registered trekking companies)
• Pokhara (NTB office, TAAN office and Government registered trekking companies)
• To obtain a TIMS Card you need a copy of your passport and two passport-size photographs.
• 20 US $ equivalent Nepalese Rupees must be paid to obtain TIMS Card from NTB offices or TAAN offices which issue TIMS card only for Free Individual Trekkers (FIT) who do not take the services of both Guide and Porter.
• However, 10 US $ equivalent Nepalese Rupees must be paid for obtaining TIMS card for Group Trekkers (GT- who take the services of both Guide and Porter) only from registered trekking agencies in Nepal.
• The TIMS card is non-transferable, non-endorsable and valid only for one entry for prescribed area and duration.
• TIMS counter at NTB offices will remain open from Sunday to Friday from 10 am to 4 pm except Saturdays and Public Holidays when it is closed.
• TIMS counter at TAAN opens seven days a week from 10 am to 5 pm. It is also open on Saturdays and Public Holidays from 10 am to 12 pm.
• During October, November and December working hours are from 10 am to 4 pm.
For more information
please contact: Nepal Tourism Board (NTB)
Telephone + 9771-4256909 extn 224 or Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN)
Tel: 4443003, 4440920,
Web site: www.timsnepal.com
Is it necessary to use a trekking guide?
It is not compulsory to use a guide while trekking in Nepal. However, no matter how experienced or fit you are at outdoor activities, it is important to have good orientation to a new area, especially if you go trekking. We highly recommend every guest to use our trained and certified guides so that you can easily and safely complete your trek. We believe that having a qualified trekking guide is a minimum safety requirement and can also enhance your enjoyment and understanding of the region as they act as a companion and interpreter. Our trekking guides have an excellent level of English and take full responsibility of everything during a trek or expedition. They know when to offer you company and when to leave you alone to your own thoughts. Not only that the guides have the direct contact with the locals of the specific regions where you’re visiting, so due to this advance relation, you will be benefited with the true local cultural information. Similarly, due to the busy season, you may not get the rooms in the mountain where there are limited hotels and lodges, in this case if you have the guide accompanying your trip, he will contact the lodges/teahouses owner and book the room in advance which is a great help to make your trip a memorable.
Although the guides and helping crews are not mandatory while trekking to the unrestricted areas but if you’re trekking to the restricted areas, then you’re compulsion to take a Nepali crew/s.
What are restricted areas? What are the restricted areas in Nepal? And how can I issue the permits?
Restricted areas are those places that are closed to trekkers or open to trekkers, only when accompanied by a policeman (a liaison or “environmental” officer). There are many influences on the decision to open or close certain parts of Nepal to foreigners. Recent changes have liberalized both trekking and climbing, and there is considerable pressure to open more areas to trekkers. You should check with a trekking agency or the central immigration office before planning an unusual trek.
There are some restricted areas in Nepal for which the trekkers should have their permits ready before heading to those areas, get issued from Immigration office in Kathmandu. Please see below the restricted regions in Nepal which requires Special Permits.
1. Upper Mustang
2. Upper Dolpa
3. Lower Manaslu (Chhekampar and Chuchchet) and Upper Manaslu (Above Jagat)
4. Humla (Simikot- Yari region)
6. Rasuwa (Thuman and Timure region)
7. Manag (Naarphu, Thoche and Tilicho region)
8. Mugu, Phulu and Dolphu Bhagti region
9. Bajhang (Kada, Phali and Saigal region)
10. Darchula (Byaas region)
Similarly trekkers are suggested to go through any one of the trekking agencies in Nepal in order to get the permits issued. This means you can’t get the permits issued individually by yourself. Also you need at least two members in a group to get the Special permits for those regions. For the fees of those regions please contact us.
What equipments should I bring for trekking in Nepal?
Here is the list of the equipments that are suggested to bring for your trekking in Nepal.
1. A pair of light hiking boots
2. A pair of sandals
3. 2 pairs of woolen socks and 2 pair of hiking socks
4. 1 medium poly pro shirt
5. 1 pile jacket
6. 1 down jacket
7. 1 woolen hat
8. A pair of sunglasses
9. A pair of glove shells with liner or ski gloves (opt.)
10. A pair of woolen gloves
11. One Trekking pack 3000 cubic inches capacity
12. One Sunscreen lotion SPF 10 to 30 and One Sunscreen stick SPF 10 to 30
13. Two Reading books (Optional)
14. One Walkman (Opt) and Music tapes (Opt) iPods Digi Camera and its Charger
15. A one liter water bottle
16. A pair of trekking poles
17. One flash light with 4 sets of batteries one -5 to -20 sleeping bag
18. Two T-shirts and one long sleeve T/city shirt
19. Two Trekking baggy pants
How about the Electricity (Voltage) in Nepal?
Electricity in Nepal is 230 volts, alternating at 50 cycles per second. A voltage converter is needed for a device that does not accept 230 volts at 50 MHz. Sockets in Nepal accept only round three or two pins. So if your electrical device uses flat pins, please bring a universal electric plug adaptor.
What are some basic Nepali customs that I need to know?
• When visiting a temple, always revolves clockwise direction
• Take off your shoes before entering a temple or a Nepalese home
• Entrance to some temples is forbidden, so look out for such notices
• First get a permission to take photographs inside temples or of religious ceremonies
• Show decency in dress and avoid any show of public affection
• Spell Namaste (local Nepali word that refers Hi/Hello etc) when meeting people
How do I get around in the cities and to other destinations?
There are metered taxis, buses, battery-operated three-wheelers and rickshaws in the cities. Long routes are served by buses. Nepal does not have a railway system connecting cities. The only other travel option is by plane, and Nepal is well connected by air. Similarly, there are intercity Tourist Buses to popular tourist destinations like Pokhara and Chitwan from Kantipath in Kathmandu, while you can board a bus to Jiri and Dhunche at the New Bus Park.
How is Communication Services in Nepal?
Mobile Network coverage is wide in Nepal, even in the rural areas. Internet facilities are available in hotels and cyber cafes in all major cities. Apart from the urban centers, popular trekking destinations – the Annapurna and Everest region – also have modern communications facilities.
How is the Accommodation Standard in Nepal?
There is accommodation ranging from 5-star chain hotels and resorts to comfortable lodges in Kathmandu and major tourist destinations. So, you do have the options for luxury hotels to budget hotels in Kathmandu, Pokhara and all major cities in Nepal. Most of the hotels offer specialty restaurants, conference facilities, exclusive health clubs and business centers. However, the accommodation standard in the mountain is basic but there are some luxury lodges in the lower Everest region. You also have the option of home-stay where you can stay in local houses with the local people and enjoy their traditional food.
What kind of food is available in Nepalese restaurants?
Kathmandu is a melting pot of international cuisine. Dining out is, therefore, a pleasure. The Nepali staple is rice, dal (lentils) and curry. Apart from Nepalese cuisine, there are restaurants serving Continental, Indian, Chinese, Mexican, Japanese, and Italian and Korean food. Fast foods like burgers, pizzas are found everywhere. There are two KFC outlets in Kathmandu.
Can you suggest on Tipping?
Tipping is expected by most of the people involved in the tourism in Nepal. In big hotels service charges are included in the bills so tipping is not necessary otherwise 10% of the amount of the billing is normally provided as tipping. If you are traveling with a group the tipping can be reduced to 5% of the total bill. For the porters in the hotels Rs.50 for a single baggage and in the case of a group Rs.100 per baggage is customary. For tour guides and escorts we recommend 10 to 15 US dollar per day per person and same is also for the driver accompanying you during your Nepal tour. However the mentioned amounts are just to give travelers an idea. There is no “must” or “compulsion” of tipping in Nepal. We advise you to measure the quality of services of particular person or establishment before thinking of tipping!
What souvenirs can I take home?
Popular among visitors are handmade apparels like woolen sweaters, jackets, trousers and caps. And the Pashmina shawl is a highly coveted item. Then there are ethnic and contemporary carpets, gems and jewelry, metal and wooden products, Khukuri (the curved metal knife, music CDs, Nepali paper products, pottery, spices, tea and Thangka paintings to take home
There are exclusive showrooms at Durbar Marg (King’s Way), Asan, Thamel, Patan and Bhaktapur Durbar Squarearea which specialize in these items.